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Big Ideas: The Artist’s Role Today

Big Ideas: The Artist's Role Today
This article is part of Big Ideas, a series exploring Chicagoan’s thoughts about contemporary art. The role of the artist has differed throughout time and place. He or she has been a craftsman, an illustrator of texts, a decorator of religious structures, a luxury goods producer, a rebel, and the savior of mankind, among countless other types. As culture has changed, so has the artist’s role;... 

A Return to Artists’ Alley: Interviews from C2E2

A Return to Artists’ Alley: Interviews from C2E2
April marked the third year of the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2.  Like last spring, X-men, Poison Ivies, and Spidermen crowded the halls of McCormick Place, but artists were there in abundance as well.  Even with the advent of the Internet, conventions like this one are still a central part of many comic book artists’ careers.  They offer creators the opportunity to network... 

The Young Historians: Miles Johnson

The Young Historians: Miles Johnson
The Young Historians is a series exploring the lives of recent art history graduates with ties to the Chicago area. In this first installation, I spoke with Miles Johnson, my brother and a former contributor for Sixty Inches From Center. Miles graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Art History program in 2010. Zachary Johnson (ZJ): To start off, where did you study Art History... 

The Only Game in Town: Interviewing Chicago Community Darkroom

The Only Game in Town: Interviewing Chicago Community Darkroom
The invention of the camera gave the world the ability to capture a single moment and preserve it on film.  No longer would people have to rely on paintings or their own murky memories to recall the past.  In a photograph one could peer into yesterday just as it was then.  With photography  one could effectively stop time.  So how ironic is it that film, this original vehicle of permanence, has... 

A Man in Sheep’s Clothing: An Interview with Michael Arthur

A Man in Sheep's Clothing: An Interview with Michael Arthur
I met Michael Arthur when we were a quarter-turn around the globe, studying abroad in the South of France.  The first work of art that I saw of his was an illustration of three anthropomorphic dog women showering naked in a waterfall.  Since then, I’ve watched him create comics and paintings about cults, cooking, alien ecosystems, and drinking.  What strikes me about Michael’s work... 

Sixty on Sixty: An Interview with Andrea Sparr-Jaswa

Sixty on Sixty: An Interview with Andrea Sparr-Jaswa
In the wake of her 30th birthday, I joined Andrea Sparr-Jaswa in her beautifully decorated Logan Square apartment. Andrea is a long time resident of the neighborhood and a contributing writer to the Chicago Arts Archive.   Amidst bites of fudge cake, we chatted about Andrea’s academic background, and her opinions on art, Chicago, and orbital sanders. Sixty on Sixty is a new series in which SIFCers... 

A Time Traveler’s Toolkit: An Interview with Marya Veeck of August House Studio

A Time Traveler's Toolkit: An Interview with Marya Veeck of August House Studio
It wasn’t too long ago that Chicago residents were advised to not tread west of Halsted.  Trouble loomed for those who dared to venture further, people said.  With Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, Ukrainian Village, and other neighborhoods having changed so much in the past two decades, this maxim seems silly.  However, Marya Veeck remembers a time when things were rougher.  She founded... 

Strength in Numbers: An Interview with Four Star Studios

Strength in Numbers: An Interview with Four Star Studios
Chicago is known as an originator of great architecture, signature foods, numerous styles of music, and a handful of sports teams.  How often, however, is Chicago associated with innovation in comics?  Or comics at all?  While the Wikitravel and Wikipedia articles on Chicago mention nothing of the city’s comics scene, I can attest to its vibrancy.  In the last two months Chicago has seen... 

March’s Atomic Sketch Round-Up

March's Atomic Sketch Round-Up
Last month, Sixty Inches From Center attended the monthly drink ‘n draw event known as Atomic Sketch. We asked several participating artists to share a little bit about themselves by illustrating their answers to four simple questions. The results, both varied and delightful, are shared below. Our artists this month include: Nate Otto, Jeremy Blake, Binx, and SIFC’s own Miles Johnson. Like... 

A Walk Through Artist Alley: Interviews from C2E2

A Walk Through Artist Alley: Interviews from C2E2
March 18th marked the second annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2. Hosted at McCormick Place, the event spanned multiple floors and was filled with goings-on: speed dating, celebrity meet and greets, quidditch matches, and costume contests. My brother Zachary and I ignored these distractions, and spent most of our time walking the spacious aisles of the artist alley, which featured... 
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